Theo Epstein talked a lot this offseason about building a bridge. It’s beginning to look like a bridge to nowhere.

The retooled Red Sox continued to sputter and stall yesterday, absorbing another blowout loss to the Rays — this time 8-2 — to complete a humbling four-game sweep that plunges them six games back of the Rays and Yankees in the loss column just two weeks in.

“When you don’t show up to play, you’re going to get beat,” Dustin Pedroia said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re playing the Rays or [expletive] Brookline High School.”


At 4-9, the Sox are off to their second-worst start over the past 25 seasons, with only the 1996 team beginning worse (2-11). Since 1996, no Red Sox team had failed to win 10 games before losing its ninth.

It was the first time the Rays swept the Sox in a four-game series, and the first time the Sox have lost six in a row at Fenway since 1994.

“Everyone wants to know [why],” said Victor Martinez, one of several slumping hitters at .212 with four RBIs. “It’s kind of weird. Nothing is going our way.”

The Rays outscored the Sox 24-9 and stole 10 bases without being caught. The “run-prevention” Sox committed five more errors during the sweep, giving them eight during their five-game losing streak.

The offense hasn’t been much better. After going 0-for-5 yesterday, the Sox are in a staggering 0-for-32 stretch with runners in scoring position.

“Teamwide, we’re not doing things good enough,” manager Terry Francona said. “Our concern is playing better. When we do that, we’ll all feel better about ourselves.”

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